Sunday, September 19, 2010


 The powers that be located two prisons and a correctional center along this stretch of Utah and Nevada desert  next to the interstate.  Out in the middle of nowhere, away from towns, inclement weather in summer and winter. Designed to thwart escapes. Thus the signs.

We saw interesting rock formations here and there.

It was that kind of day. Steep climbs and downhills. Driving the first shift, we crossed over the biggest summit of the day at 6,784 feet. Two smaller ones followed, just over 5,000 feet. Again, managed about 300 miles distance today. I learned to pull up to a gas pump for the first time in the Motor Home.

A tunnel directly through the mountains. Though the drive is straight arrow boring, the names close to home, Salt Lake, Winnemucca, Reno, give me an excited sense of expectation, of returning home after 7 months on the road.

We landed in Lovelock;  had a great local beer made in Elkhart, Angel Pale Ale. The name Lovelock certainly conjures up romance. Its an unromantic looking place, though, small, about 2,000 people. Yet the names on the side of the road riffle through my mind like a song. They make me wonder why, and who would name a place Pumpernickel Valley for instance?

 I began reciting names like the words of a poem as I drove so I could remember to mark them down when we stopped.
Pilots Peak---Battle Mountain---Silverzone---Devils Gate---Oasis---Independence Valley---Angel Lake---Starr Valley---Ruby Valley---Midas---Button Point---Dun Glen---Rose Creek---Cave Byway. 

It makes you want to see Angel Lake. What does it look like? Is it shaped like and Angel? And Ruby Valley, the name of a person? Or is it named for colorful plants? Or rocks?  Midas. Signs suggested there was gold in this area at one time. Midas, that hopeful expectation of wealth beyond dreams. Ah, the stories they conjure.

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